Definition of clumsy
1a : lacking dexterity, nimbleness, or grace <clumsy fingers>b : lacking tact or subtlety <a clumsy joke>
2 : awkward or inefficient in use or construction : unwieldy <a clumsy contraption> <criticized her sentence for its clumsy construction>
clumsilyplay \-zə-lē\ adverb
clumsinessplay \-zē-nəs\ noun
Examples of clumsy in a sentence
I'm sorry about spilling your wine—that was very clumsy of me.
I have very clumsy hands and tend to drop things.
She made a clumsy attempt at a joke.
Origin and Etymology of clumsy
probably from obsolete English clumse benumbed with cold
First Known Use: circa 1598
Synonym Discussion of clumsy
CLUMSY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of clumsy for English Language Learners
: moving or doing things in a very awkward way and tending to drop or break things
: badly or awkwardly made or done
: hard to use : awkward to handle
CLUMSY Defined for Kids
Definition of clumsy for Students
1 : lacking skill or grace in movement <clumsy fingers>
2 : awkwardly or carelessly made or done <a clumsy apology> <a clumsy error>
3 : awkward to handle <a clumsy package>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up clumsy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).